New Dawg… Old Tricks?


This blog is going to hit home for a majority of us and I apologize up front if anybody feels offended, but realize this is not the intent of this article. I had recently been dealing with a lot of support calls lately with people moving to subscription, which is the best bang for your buck having the newest technology as soon as it is released at a discounted price, along with all of the many other advantages and benefits that go along with being a subscription holder. Which is a great thing for everybody, but here is where things start to turn downhill…

People are creatures of habit… and that is understandable and once they start doing something they get, they want to keep doing it that way, because it is easy and it works! Completely understandable… IF WE COULD FREEZE TIME! But unfortunately, we live in a fast paced technical world, and things are always changing and there will always be someone trying to build a better mouse trap; even if it take a little while to work out the bugs. But where I see the problem compounds its self is when I have someone ask for help to make their new software to perform and look like the older version. For example the first thing I hear is “How do I turn off that ribbon thingy and where are my toolbars?”

…I KNOW, I KNOW!!! We are all saying “Hey wait a minute, he is talking about me!” Well, no need to be concerned, I was talking about me a few years ago; but if you feel guilty, GOOD NEWS, I have a solution for you too. Here is how I see it …everything that you know now, you were able to learn, and I am not just talking about school. And lets face it, technology advances faster and faster everyday… could you imagine an astronaut telling the rocket scientist, “Can you make the new space shuttle run just like the older one?” … or a consumer telling the cell phone company, “I don’t like the newer thin cell phones because they are harder to find than the 8 pound brick that you used to use as a cell phone, perhaps not so many years ago.”

Well the same thing, weather we like it or not, is what happens every time we load your new software and try to make it look and work like the older versions, which Autodesk realizes that people want to be able to do this, and that is why they keep a lot of the old menu items available and just turn them off, “to try and keep the customer as happy”. But unfortunately, this makes it easer for all of us to convert right back to our old tricks, and before we know it we are trying to keep up with everybody else flying to Jupiter, but in a rocket that was only design to go to the moon. It’s hard to get out of that comfort zone, but you know what I have learned over the years, it’s a lot harder and more time consuming to update yourself from a 2 year technical coma, than to just spend a little bit of time updating yourself as soon as the technology is introduced. Plus, then you get to take advantage of the new tools that were design to increase productivity. I have found the only reason it take longer at first is that I just don’t know how to use it yet. It’s kind of like using the stove over the microwave, it may take some time to learn how to start the microwave than the stove but in the long run the microwave is much faster. Also if you were to bring up all of the toolbars that replace the Ribbon tools, you would only have enough drawing area left to draw postage stamps; so unless that is all you design, I would take the next step to learn how to the new functions work before writing them off. Plus don’t forget the new release of Autodesk 2011 products is just around the corner, which also means that Autocad 2007 will no longer be supported by Autodesk.

So, I have made it a point that when ever I teach a class of current users of AutoCAD I always go over the new interface and show them how to use them properly. And you know what? That is now the preferred method they have chosen to work today. So take some time and go through the New Features Workshop, our take a hands on training at an Autodesk ATC (Authorized Training Center) site, LIKE OURS!!! (…Sorry I just had to pitch that! LOL). However you want to learn it… but most of all, just don’t ask that person that is stuck in a rut, from the 1990’s, if you want to know what you NEW AUTOCAD is capable of now. You would be surprised what NEW TRICKS this NEW DAWG has up it’s sleeve.

-Isaac Harper

Isaac is the go-to guy for the AutoCAD skills that lie at the foundation of AEC software tools and increased productivity. And you’d be hard pressed to find someone who knows more than he does about how to be more efficient in AutoCAD. Isaac can present best strategies and tips for productivity because he understands his audience and what they do. He has a high number of repeat customers who like his dynamic style and keep returning to learn more from him.